PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A group that is striving to create social change through peaceful protest gathered in Northeast Portland Sunday afternoon for an “I Choose Love” event.
The event at Irving Park featured Black leaders and speakers who called for change through non-violent demonstrations. They hope to form a coalition that will be able to push for the change people want to see without the destruction and violence that have marked past demonstrations in the city.
One of I Choose Love’s organizers, Noah Battle II, said the group believes that peaceful assembly is the hallmark of social justice. The organization is composed of thinkers, professionals, and athletes who are all hoping to make a difference.
“Portland, the rest of our city, the rest of the country, has been in turmoil,” said Battle. “So much violence–understandably because of the pandemic, the economic collapse, terrible murder of Floyd. And what we’ve seen is a downward spiral: more and more darkness coming in our area. And it’s not what Portland is supposed to be about, what our country is supposed to be about.”
Battle went on to say, “There has to be a different message, a different change. We have to go a different direction, and we have to fight the darkness with light. We have to fight the hate with love.”
It seemed that the “I choose love” message is having some resonance. Battle said they have already received a lot of support from government leaders and the greater community as well.
Information on the group’s mission statement, a list of its committee leaders, and how to participate in future events can be found on the I Choose Love website.